Perth FC Aboriginal engagement officer enjoying home away from home


Perth FC Aboriginal engagement officer Callum Walley (holding ball) with Gordon Narrier, Nicky Taylor and Sydney Stack.  Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d465864
Perth FC Aboriginal engagement officer Callum Walley (holding ball) with Gordon Narrier, Nicky Taylor and Sydney Stack. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d465864

LIVING with three teenagers can be challenging, but Wembley Downs resident Callum Walley takes it in his stride.

A senior player at Perth Football Club, Walley (26) was recently appointed the club’s first Aboriginal engagement officer; a task he takes very seriously.

“Perth has more indigenous players than any other WAFL club,” he said.

“From the Year 8 development squads right through to our senior team, we have about 80 Aboriginal boys.”

A first of its kind within the WAFL clubs, the role was created by the Demons to facilitate the development of talented young footballers from the club’s country zones – both on and off the field.

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Walley’s primary role is supervising three of the club’s young indigenous players he lives with – Sydney Stack (16), Gordon Narrier (18) and Nicky Taylor (18) – as part of the club’s newly implemented regional accommodation program.

“It was started up as a way for the boys from country towns to be in Perth and make it easy for them to get to training and play games,” Walley said.

“Sydney and Gordon are from Northam and Nicky is from Tammin, so it is just too far for them to be travelling all the time.

“I thought these three would benefit the most from the house, and that’s why they’re here.

“I make sure they get to every training session and game, so hopefully it does wonders for their footy this year.”

Proving their worth, the trio represented the club at the State under-18s talent week last month.

“Perth had seven representatives, and all seven of them were Aboriginal,” Walley said. “That’s massive, considering some clubs had no indigenous representatives.”

On top of supervising the boys, Walley also works closely with the Banksia Hill Detention Centre, as well as running football clinics.

“The boys help me out with the clinics, but they are looking for jobs,” he said.

“Footy is the primary focus for them, but they do need some work.”

Walley said the club’s aim was to give the boys the best chance at being drafted.

Round 1 of the WAFL kicks off this Saturday.

n Anyone who may have work for Sydney, Gordon or Nicky can call Callum Walley on 0433 193 577 or Perth Football Club on 9362 4499.